Ren Jianzhi, a native of Yutai, Shandong, made a living by trading felt and fur coats. He took all his capital with him to Shaanxi. On the way, he met a man who called himself Shen Zhuting, from Suqian County, Jiangsu Province. The two hit it off and became sworn brothers, never leaving each other's side.

In Shaanxi, Ren Jianzhi fell ill and Shen Zhuting took care of him diligently. After more than ten days, Ren Jianzhi's condition worsened. He said to Shen Zhuting, 'My family doesn't have much wealth. The livelihood of my eight family members depends on me doing business outside. Now that I have fallen ill, it seems that I will be buried in a foreign land. In this place more than two thousand miles away from home, besides you, my dear brother, who else can I rely on? There are over two hundred taels of silver in the bundle. You take half of it, use it to buy a coffin for me, and use the rest as your travel expenses. Please send the other half to my wife so that she can hire a carriage to bring me back. If you are willing to personally accompany me back home, then all the expenses will be covered by my share.' After saying this, he wrote a letter to his wife on the pillow and handed it to Shen Zhuting. He passed away that night.

Shen Zhuting only spent five or six taels of silver to buy a cheap wooden coffin to bury Ren Jianzhi. The shop owner urged him to quickly take it away, but he made an excuse to go find monks and Taoists to perform rituals for his deceased friend and never returned. It was a year later that Ren's family finally received confirmation. Ren Jianzhi's son, Ren Xiu, was seventeen years old and studying. When he heard the news of his father's death, he wanted to go to Shaanxi to retrieve his father's coffin. His mother didn't want him to go because he was too young, but he cried and begged, so his mother reluctantly agreed. They sold their belongings to prepare for his travel expenses and sent an old servant to accompany him. It took them half a year to return. After the funeral, the family was left in poverty. Fortunately, Ren Xiu was intelligent and passed the county's scholar examination. However, this child had a wild temperament and loved gambling. Despite his mother's strict discipline, he didn't change. One time, when the chief examiner came to conduct the examination, he only achieved a fourth-class ranking. His mother was so angry that she couldn't eat. He felt ashamed and scared, so he vowed to study hard. He locked himself in and studied for a year, finally achieving a top-class ranking and began to enjoy the state-provided clothing and food. His mother urged him to take on some students and teach, but people who knew about his past behavior didn't believe in him and mocked him, so he couldn't find any students. Ren Xiu had an uncle named Zhang who did business in Beijing. He was willing to take him to the capital and didn't ask for his travel expenses. Ren Xiu was very happy and set off with his uncle on a boat. When they reached the border of Linqing, the boat docked at the west gate of the city. Many salt transport boats were also docked there, with masts and booms resembling a forest. After going to sleep, the sound of water and people kept him awake. In the deep silence of the night, he suddenly heard the sound of dice rolling on the neighboring boat, crisp and pleasing, stirring his heart. Ren Xiu couldn't help but feel itchy when he touched the one thousand wen in his bag. He wanted to go and play on the boat. However, he hesitated when he thought of his mother's teachings! So he packed the money back and went to sleep, but his heart was still restless and he couldn't fall asleep. He got up again and unpacked his bag. He repeated this three times and couldn't resist anymore. He took the money and went to the neighboring boat. He saw two people gambling with large stakes. He placed his money on the table and asked to join the game. The two welcomed him and started rolling the dice. After a while, Ren Xiu won big. One of the two ran out of money and used a large piece of silver as collateral with the boat owner, exchanging it for small change to continue gambling. Later, they bet more than ten guan of money, hoping for a desperate gamble. Just as they were getting excited, another person arrived and watched for a while before taking out all his money to join the game. Ren Xiu's uncle woke up in the middle of the night and found that Ren Xiu was not on the boat. He heard the sound of dice and knew that he must have gone to gamble. He went to the neighboring boat, intending to stop him. When he saw the mountains of money piled next to Ren Xiu, he didn't say anything. He carried thousands of taels of money back to the boat and woke up the other passengers to help him transport the money. They made several trips and still had tens of thousands of taels of money left. Soon, the three gamblers on the neighboring boat lost everything and wanted to bet with silver, but Ren Xiu had lost interest. He insisted on only gambling with money, not silver. His uncle urged him again and again to stop gambling and go back to sleep on the boat. The three gamblers became desperate and the boat owner, who was greedy for tips from the gamblers, wanted to continue gambling, so he proactively borrowed a lot of money from other boats. With money in hand, the three gamblers became even more excited. In no time, they all became Ren Xiu's winnings. By then, it was already dawn. The early morning boat at the Linqing dock started to sail, and Ren Xiu, his uncle, and the other passengers brought the winnings back to their boat. The three gamblers dispersed. The boat owner looked at the two hundred taels of silver that had been used as collateral and turned into ashes from the paper ingots burned for the dead. He was shocked and went to Ren Xiu's boat, intending to make him compensate for his loss. After asking for his name and address, he realized that he was Ren Jianzhi's son and could only swallow his anger and return. It turned out that the boat owner was Shen Zhuting, whom Ren Xiu had heard about when he went to Shaanxi to find his father's coffin. Today, the ghost had given him retribution, so he no longer pursued his past mistakes. Ren Xiu joined forces with his uncle to do business in the north and earned several times the profit by the end of the year. Soon, according to the usual practice, he was promoted to a supervising student. Ren Xiu also became skilled in accounting. In ten years, he became the richest man in that region.

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